Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius has said he supports the management of the municipal public transport company, as its workers are planning a strike in October.
The trade union of Vilnius Public Transport (Vilniaus Viesasis Transportas, VVT) workers has announced this week it is planning an action over what it says is the management’s failure to stick to the collective agreement.
“The trade union is one of the workers’ representatives. Its task is to talk about workers’ issues and I fully support the head of VVT to iron out the agreement,” Simasius told reporters on September 21.
The VVT trade union plans to launch an indefinite strike on October 3 after stating that over the last year it had not been able to resolve disagreements with the management of VVT on workers’ salaries and working conditions.
Simasius has urged VVT workers to work together to improve the quality of public transport in Vilnius.
“The quality of public transportation is rising, the quality of drivers’ work is improving, the vehicles are improving, the infrastructure of bus stops is improving. I really take the strike plans seriously and I urge them not to do it, but to work together to improve things,” said the mayor.
According to the trade union, the strike will take place in the transport departments of VVT Verkiai, Virsuliskes and Antakalnis.
According to Mayor Simasius, this would mean that over 50% of Vilnius public transport services would become unavailable.
“Today, it is no secret that we are talking about a specific situation, because a strike of Vilnius public transport drivers has been announced, which would be a really big challenge for the city. According to the announced figures for the strike, 50% of Vilnius public transport would not be able to go out on the streets,” said Simasius.
According to the mayor, most of the 37 demands put forward by the union have already been implemented.
This week, the union said it would push for at least a 10% pay rise for all workers.
According to Mayor Simasius, however, public transport drivers received pay rises in spring and more were planned in the future. (LRT/Business World Magazine)